Carmel Mission Inn

Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Peninsula, California

Contemporary Photography for
custom guest room artwork program


The Best Western Carmel Mission Inn is located a few hundred yards from one of California's most historic Missions and has been named after it. The strategy that was selected was to use the Inns namesake as the subject matter for the guest room art. To achieve, various media options were explored including historical images and watercolors.

Ultimately, it was decided to create custom photographic artwork. This process entailed a photographic shoot throughout the Carmel area with an emphasis on the mission to create the source material. Working in collaboration with Rho Olson of Universal Design, images were selected from this portfolio for the individual guest rooms.

Digitally Mastering the Images

The next step, was to perfect the image and calibrate its color to the room package. This was achieved by digitizing the images at high-resolution and then carefully retouching the image. This process removed undesirable artifacts that were in the original scene and enabled us to precisely size and style the images. Color tonality was calibrated to match the interior finishes by examining the projects material samples alongside the computer monitor to better coordinate the color to the room finishes.

Final Output on the Lightjet Digital Printer

Final prints were made using the Lightjet 5300, the worlds most advanced digital output device. The Lightjet uses an RGB laser beam to expose archival photographic paper, resulting in images that have no visible pixelation, as is the case with CYMK inkjet printers. The resolution is so high, that grain of the photographic paper blends upon exposure to the 32 bit pixels making them invisible. Each print made on the Lightjet is therefore, "perfect" size, color and optical quality, and even though the images were created digitally, the prints look 100% photographic to the viewer.

It is also noteworthy that should the style preference have been that of a watercolor or impressionistic work, digital process would also have allowed the same source images to be modified in Photoshop® to create a handcrafted artistic style. Regardless of the style, digital output and workflow offers the design team and hotel client 100% control over the "look and feel" of the artwork.

Economy of Scale and planning

Artwork for guest rooms and public spaces of hotels should be selected through careful planning. Images in the guest room are especially influential to the guest experience and can effect decisions to return as well as overall impression and "word-of-mouth" recommendations. Images are strategically chosen to express the market position and brand of the hotel.

By making identical reproductions for the the over 180 rooms, we were able to achieve an economy of scale to dramatically reduce the cost of both the artwork and framing, yet still delivering a totally custom result. Further, the budget for digitally mastering the images and the custom photography to develop the content was spread of this total project as well, making the process an affordable alternative to purchasing "bulk" or conventional hotel room art that does not have a special connection with the property.

Meeting Rooms

In meeting rooms, landscape photography
of the nearby Point Lobos reserve were enlarged, this time using the conventional photographic process from the original negatives. While this approach does not allow for retouching or as controlled color calibration, making single images from the original negatives provide a better economy for images that are reproduced only once.

Total Service: content through completion

Business Image Group provided Best Western with a single-source solution for this project from photography to the elegant picture framing that was used for the final artwork.

The process of design was a collaboration with Universal Designs who directed the picture selection, size and framing specifications and production details of the project.

Courtesy of the Carmel Mission Inn
Typical Guest Room

Carmel Mission - Fountain (Photography by Bennett Hall)

Carmel Mission - Courtyard (Photography by Bennett Hall)

Carmel Mission - Tower (Photography by Bennett Hall)